Help - SPD, is ABA therapy in school ok?

Angeljc - posted on 10/10/2010 ( 2 moms have responded )

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I'm new here. I am concerned about preschool as my soon to be 3 year old son has SPD w/ a speech delay. He is a sensory seeker and gets stuck on things with some ASD like behaviors - buttons, doors, spinning. He has not been dx and I understand there is overlap. However, the school system moved him from special ed to an ABA/autistic class because they felt ABA would help him focus better and would get more attention. He gets very hyper in new environments and the original teacher felt she couldn't focus on him like she would like to and that he would grow/learn more with a better ratio. I'm now a little concerned because ABA appears to be mainly for ASD when I search on it. It's possible that maybe my son needed an OT therapist in the classroom vs moving to ABA? Is ABA okay for SPD kids and it's just not published on the web as much? I know he does appear autistic at times when he gets stuck and he could be dx later as he matures. We see the dev. ped. in a few weeks - so I will check if this therapy is not right for him. I did observe the class before he moved over and the kids were HF or not dx and I felt he would fit in with them okay. I didn't see any severe children. But, when I read about how rigid ABA can be - sometimes I wonder if I took their advice too soon and trusted their opinion before I found out more about it!

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Angeljc - posted on 11/05/2010

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Thanks Leslie. We saw our DP and she told me ABA is good for any child - I guess I can't figure out why it only shows up for autism, but maybe that is because that is the focus for autism and it's expensive and hard to get. Anyway, I plan to observe my son's class. Thanks for the info about your daughter. I did struggle with not mainstreaming, but at this age (he just turned 3) I was more concerned with his behaviors. I do hope next year he can be around more social children and that he can be in a regular special ed instead of the autism. We'll see....

Leslie - posted on 10/11/2010

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You can never be too informed as a parent...but instead of researching it online, visit the classroom frequently, especially while your son is adjusting. My daughter has always been mainstreamed...and I wish that we had put her with other "challenged" kids when she was younger and then we could have put her in regular classrooms later. So many of her behaviors, even ones from when she was younger, have resulted in social ostracism, and I don't think that would have happened if we had chosen another path. She's okay...she likes who she is and she isn't that concerned with winning the admiration of her peers while in middle school, but she does get lonely and I think that she would have benefited from having more individual attention. Anyway, I think that your decision has to be based on what you see. Even if you have an IEP, you have to see it in action to know if your child is getting what he needs. We were supposed to get O.T. for fine motor skills, but the schedule changed every time it was my daughter's turn. You have to be a squeaky wheel, unfortunately.
Good luck!

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